Today, the Sun-Times' Neil Steinberg endorsed Charlie Wheelen in the 5th Congressional District race. And the rationale he provided is so vacuous it's almost hard to believe: I officially endorse Wheelan for Congress, because he alone among the candidates called me ...
Today, the Sun-Times' Neil Steinberg endorsed Charlie Wheelen in the 5th Congressional District race. And the rationale he provided is so vacuous it's almost hard to believe:
I officially endorse Wheelan for Congress, because he alone among the candidates called me to introduce himself.
Generally, editorial boards or columnists or advocacy groups try to explain why the candidate they've endorsed will help make the lives of the average citizen better. Sure, there's plenty of self-interest involved. But it's generally coupled with a desire to improve the public's well-being in some particular way.
On the other hand we have Steinberg, who endorses Wheelan because he'll be fun to write about.
Beyond referring to Wheelan as a "centrist" -- which he most certainly is -- Steinberg doesn't touch on any actual policy points in the piece. Instead, he notes that Dan Rostenkowski once squeezed his arm and that Wheelan is the kind of guy who might squeeze his arm in the future:
Is that not what we want in a congressman? Someone who gets in the game, who will push, who will take risks -- like calling a pliant newspaper columnist -- trying to get something done?
Sure, but the substance of that "something" is pretty important -- and completely absent from Steinberg's decisionmaking.
He also derides the boring "do-gooders" like Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley:
Besides, who else is running in the pack? Mike Quigley, true, and he has distinguished himself opposing cronyism in Cook County. But he's also something of a stick-in-the-mud, and earnest do-gooders get old, as we will find out with our new governor (mark my words, two years of Pat Quinn and we'll be ready to elect Huey Long if it means bringing a little color to our political scene).
Got that? Illinois' economy is in dire straits. With Quinn's ascension, we finally have the opportunity to do something about it. And Steinberg, meanwhile, is sitting around hoping we have a more "colorful" governor two years from now.